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What is Somatization disorder?

Somatization involves the experience and reporting of physical symptoms that cause distress but lack corresponding physical pathology and cannot be explained by physical examination or diagnostic techniques. DSM IV-TR identifi ed the following diagnostic criteria for its diagnosis:

A history of many physical complaints beginning before the age of 30 years which occur over a period of several years and result in treatment being sought or signifi cant impairment, including:

– four pain symptoms: a history of pain related to at least four different sites or functions (e.g. head, abdomen, menstruation, sexual intercourse)

– two gastrointestinal symptoms: a history of at least two gastrointestinal symptoms other than pain (e.g. nausea, bloating, or intolerance of several foods)

– one sexual symptom: a history of at least one sexual or reproductive symptom other than pain (e.g. sexual indifference, irregular menses, excessive menstrual bleeding)

– one pseudoneurological symptom: a history of at least one symptom suggesting a neurological condition (e.g. impaired coordination or balance, difficulty swallowing or lump in throat, double vision). Either

:– the symptoms cannot be fully explained by a known medical condition or the direct effects of a substance, or

– when there is a related general medical condition, the physical complaints or resulting impairment are in excess of what would be expected. The symptoms are not intentionally feigned or produced. Of note is the age at which symptoms typically start

– well before the age of onset of most chronic diseases

– and the wide variety of symptoms necessary for a diagnosis to be assigned.

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